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CALLAS v. UNITED STATES

February 7, 1984

ROBERT CALLAS, Petitioner-Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent-Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: POLLACK

MILTON POLLACK, Senior United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM

 Robert Callas, presently serving a twelve-year prison sentence imposed by this Court on February 18, 1983, following his plea of guilty to one count of armed bank robbery, has filed this pro se action which seeks a wide range of relief which he claims is owed to him as a result of alleged breaches of promises which Callas asserts were made to him as part of a plea bargain agreement.

 Factual Background

 Callas asserts that in exchange for his plea of guilty on the bank robbery charge, his providing the government with information concerning one or more criminal fugitives, and his promise to cooperate with federal law enforcement officials in the future, an Assistant United States Attorney and an FBI officer promised the following at a meeting or meetings held in December, 1982: (1) that other counts for armed bank robbery then pending against him before this Court would be dropped; (2) that he would not be prosecuted concerning other crimes discussed at such meeting or meetings as well as other crimes he may have committed as a "Black Liberation Army Member"; and (3) that all information that Callas had provided to the federal authorities, as well as the fact of his cooperation, would be kept absolutely confidential.

 According to Callas' complaint, the government has breached its promises by seeking to prosecute him under a federal indictment filed in California on May 17, 1983, charging him with four counts of bank robbery, and by failing to keep the fact and nature of his informant role confidential.

 With respect to the alleged breach of confidentiality, Callas specifically alleges that an FBI officer "leaked" information concerning his cooperation by publishing such information in a "semi arrest statement", and that in so doing the government knowingly placed him in great danger of losing life or limb at the hands of other prisoners "in every federal and state and county jail throughout the United States." *fn1"

 Callas' complaint, which he has erroneously styled as a civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, but which the government has treated as a petition for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, requests, inter alia, the following relief: damages in an amount of three million dollars, vacation of the sentence imposed by this court, and immediate induction into the federal Witness Protection Program.

 Callas, who had been imprisoned at a federal correctional facility in California following the sentence of this Court, was returned to the Southern District of New York in November, 1983, at his request, ostensibly under Fed. R. Crim. P. 20, in order to enter a plea of guilty before this Court to certain counts of the aforementioned California indictment. It was during his ensuing incarceration in this district that Callas filed the instant action. He has since indicated that he does not wish to plead guilty to the indictment brought in California and has been ordered returned to the Central District of California in order to face the charges contained in the indictment pending there.

 Responding to Callas' allegations, the United States asserts that no promises were made to Callas concerning future prosecutions or confidentiality. In so doing, the government relies primarily on the record which was made at the hearing before this Court at which Callas entered his guilty plea, and in particular on the following statements by Callas' defense attorney:

 The understanding reached with the Government is that on the day of sentence the Government would not oppose our motion to dismiss the three open Counts.

 There is another understanding with the Government, your Honor, and as to that I will ask your Honor to seal the record. It is that Mr. Richard has offered his cooperation to the Government; that he has already undergone one interview with two agents and Mr. LaBella and myself and stands ready and available to be interviewed again.

 Merits of the Dispute

 It is plain from the above quotation, as well as from the entire record which was carefully developed by the Court at the hearing during which Callas entered his plea of guilty, that the Court was not informed of any agreement whatsoever between the ...


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